Mr Mill’s Circus

Phil Chamberlain explains a Second World War plan to silence German double agents in the event of a German invasion of Britain.

Recently released government documents show that during the Second World War MI5 planned to hide their most sensitive double agents in Wales if Britain was ever invaded. After scouring the country the security service decided that small hotels in North Wales were probably the most secure places for these spies.

The men and women were part of MI5’s biggest wartime intelligence coup: the Double Cross System. This effectively ran the German espionage network in Britain without the enemy realising.

Thanks partly to pre-war intelligence work and code-breaking during the early hostilities German spies were picked up as they arrived in Britain. Overall a dozen were executed but three times that number were turned so they could send false information back to Germany.

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